WLOS reporter Jon Ostendorff has an interesting story about how Gov. Pat McCrory and his wife, Ann, use the Governor’s Western Residence. The big home on 18 acres on Town Mountain is funded by taxpayers, but records about the cost of running the place and who, exactly, is using it remain scarce. From Jon’s story:
Officials with McCrory’s office took months to respond to that request and still haven’t fully responded to all requests.
Among the findings:
The McCrory Administration doesn’t have maintenance records or guest lists that would show the true cost of the home and how it is used.
Rules in place since 2012 requires the office to keep “records in paper and electronic formats, including email, concerning the use and maintenance” of the home. But the state hasn’t received any records beyond 2008.
The state budget says the home costs taxpayers just $15,000 a year to operate. But costs, sometimes, balloon far beyond that level. A failing septic tank meant a six-figure repair job last year, for example.
A nonprofit manages the home in an effort to save taxpayers money. But the system also makes it hard to determine exactly how the home is being used. The nonprofit’s director works directly for the Governor’s Office.
Jones, a former prosecutor and journalist who now leads the open government coalition, says understanding exactly how the McCrory’s use the home is important.
Jon landed an interview with McCrory, who talked about how he and his wife often make use of the home. That detail is interesting, because word on the street is that Ann McCrory is practically living full time at the home.
“The state budget says the home costs taxpayers just $15,000 a year to operate.”
Of course, it helps to keep costs low if all the landscaping and janitorial work outside the residence itself is done by prison labor from Craggy. Weird that Jon Ostendorff didn’t mention that in what is otherwise a very good piece, because it’s not a state secret, and was discussed in the Our State profile of the GWR a few years back. (Same applies to the Raleigh mansion, which was also built by prisoners.)
“A new fire pit in the backyard came from a donation. It’s one of McCrory’s favorite spots.”
Well, I’m sure that the non-profit that handles such things would be happy to disclose who sent that donation.
can’t blame her for wanting to avoid that d bag